High Lunge


Benefits:
Strengthens the legs and arms, stretches the groin.  Can help to relieve indigestion, constipation and sciatica.  To hold this pose longer, wedge a block between the floor and the back leg.

Contraindications (cautions): Any serious knee injuries, neck problems (look down at the floor instead of straight ahead).

Step by Step

1.  From Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), bend your knees , inhale and step your left foot back toward the back of your mat, with the ball of the foot on the floor.   Step back far enough so that your right knee can form a right angle.

2.  Lay your torso on your front thigh and lengthen it forward.  To soften your right groin, imagine that the thigh is sinking toward the floor under your torso’s weight.  Look forward.  Simultaneously, firm the left thigh and push it up toward the ceiling, holding the left knee straight.  Stretch your left heel toward the floor.  Hold here for 10 deep breaths.

3.  Exhale and step your right foot back beside the left.  Repeat the above instructions, but reverse left and right.  Practice stepping back and forwards and pull your abdomen in high and strong, this makes a soft landing for the foot.  Or come into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog), inhale and step the right foot forward between your hands.  Again holding for 10 deep breaths.

4.  Counterpose: Balasana (Child’s Pose).

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